Random Hacks of Kindess comes to Zürich

Posted on October 12, 2011

After great weekend I spent during RHoK #3 in Basel I decided to join the RHoK Switzerland organization and help making next event in Zürich even more awesome.

Last Tuesday, I had a pleasure to present next Random Hacks of Kindness event in front of the Zürich Webtuesday community and here I wanted to share slides from that presentation with a bit of context.

TL;DR for the impatient

RHoK #4 is going to happen in Zürich on 3rd and 4th of December 2011. You should join because it is never bad time to invest your time and expertise for the good cause. You can join by registering through Eventbrite form on the official event page. You can see more details about the RHoK community on the official web site. For following up with new information follow [@rhokch](http://twitter.com/#!/rhokch) on Twitter

So, what makes RHoK different

Comparing to other hackaton based activities that I noticed, RHoK stands out with the systematic orientation towards permanent and sustainable impact over longer future. It is obvious to see that for a weekend of hacking big problems can’t be solved. Knowing that RHoK tends to attack this problem particularly by building strong relation to organizations and individuals that are closest to the problems being solved. In Basel, for example, we had on site representatives from Caritas Switzerland and Humanity Road. This way, from one side RHoK helps Subject Matter Experts (as we call them) be strong problem owners and drivers for the change, and from the other side RHoK brings needed knowledge to attack these problems with high quality.

Of course, you can bring your own idea to the event and try to motivate others to join you bringing it to life or you can just hack on it yourself. Only constrait is that at the end of the weekend you’ll have to present what you did and explaing why it matters to be solved.

RHoK is a competition event

The weekend event itself is a competition. At the end of the weekend, you will, with your team, present what you came up with. Our sponsors provide prizes for the winners. So if you are competitive even more reasons to come.

Bringing needed knowledge to the problem

The way hackatons usually happen is around focused communities. For example, Ruby/RoR community meets once a month and hacks on things they are interested in, usually not oriented towards the humanity related problems. Although this is great, this approach lacks some pieces in order to sustainably solve big real world problems. RHoK as a concept tries to bring ALL the knowledge needed not only the technical one. That is why we try to motivate product owners, designers, user interaction experts, thinkers or activists to participate in various parts of the process as a part of the team attacking particular problem. This way we think we can make teams last longer than a weekend and drive the solution to the state when it is being used in production.

RHoK #4 Zürich, 3rd and 4th of December 2011

What we provide is a venue, infrastructure, food and refreshements. At the beginning of the event we’ll get an overview of the problems that we might attack during the weekend. All the problems are placed on the official RHoK website in the problems section. For some of the problems we’ll have on-site representatives, for some of them you might want to pair up with a team from another RHoK event from the list or you might bring your own problem and attack it alone or with other participants that decide to join you.

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